Mets Bullpen Might Be Better Than We Thought
With Edwin Díaz, the New York Mets have the best closer in baseball. As for the rest of the bullpen, well, that’s a question mark right now.
The expectation is the Mets will address this at the trade deadline. At first blush, there’s a lot which needs addressing. However, when you dig deeper, maybe the Mets are in much better shape than originally contemplated.
Lets start with the fact Major League Baseball has a 13 pitcher limit. After the five man rotation, which will be further bolstered by Jacob deGrom’s return, a team can carry seven relievers.
We know Díaz is the closer. As a result, the Mets need to fill six bullpen spots. Here’s how they look.
Adam Ottavino has been terrific with a 2.29 ERA, 176 ERA+, and a 10.5 K/9. He’s emerged as a primary set-up man. That’s five spots remaining.
Seth Lugo looks like a different reliever out of the break. He’s yet to allow a run in 4.2 innings. His run goes deeper than that. Since June 8, he has a 2.70 ERA. That’s four spots remaining.
Trevor Williams has been an important pitcher for the Mets all season. With a healthy rotation Williams will now stay in the bullpen.
As a reliever this season, he has a 1.50 ERA striking out 10.9 per nine, and he recorded his first career save this season. He can be a long man, and we’ve recently seen him get some late inning opportunities. That’s three spots remaining.
Trevor May will be coming off the IL. He’s a high leverage reliever who had a 3.38 ERA, 130 ERA+, and a 12.1 K/9 out of the bullpen from 2018 – 2021.
He looked strong during his rehab outings. If he’s back to form, the Mets bullpen gets exponentially better and deeper. That’s two spots remaining.
However, that’s depth, and the Mets understandably aren’t going to rely on them come the postseason. Of course, with the innings they get from the starting rotation, the Mets may never really need anything beyond Diaz-May-Lugo-Ottavino.
Still, you build as strong a bullpen as you can. It’s possible the remaining two spots could bee filled internally.
Of course, that also applied to Drew Smith. However, no one knows if Smith can return this year. That may go double with Megill.
With Joely Rodriguez being a disappointment, and with the needless obsession with LOOGYS even despite the three batter rule, the Mets will likely bend backwards to get a left-handed reliever. It’s dumb, but that’s what they’ll do.
That leaves the team finding one more big arm. Given his success in New York, and how he’s pitched this year, David Robertson is THE perfect fit. Of course, there are other options.
Then again, if the Mets get no one, they will still be fine.
As noted, the starting pitching goes deep. So far this year, they average 5.2 innings per start. Remember, that’s without one deGrom start and the team getting 30 starts outside their projected Opening Day rotation.
Keep in mind, one of those five moves to the postseason bullpen. That takes one of the two needed slots. Maybe they also carry David Peterson even if he struggled in his two cracks at the short relief route.
Really, when you break it down, the Mets already can go with what they already have in October. That goes double if Megill and/or Smith return.
While very true, the Mets still should get Robertson. That’s a move that puts this bullpen in a different stratosphere and pushes them closer to being World Series favorites.